By Andrew Lang
BeeOasis Step 3
There was once a crab who lived in a hole on the shady side of a mountain. She was a very good housewife. She was careful and industrious, and her hole was the cleanest in the country, so she took great pride in it.
One day she saw a handful of cooked rice lying near the mouth of her hole. A traveller must have dropped it when he was stopping to eat his dinner. Delighted at this discovery, she hurried to the spot and carried the rice back to her hole. Then a monkey, who lived in some trees near by, came down to see what the crab was doing.
His eyes opened wide at the sight of the rice, for it was his favorite food, and in his clever way, he made a proposal to the crab. “Give me half the rice,” he said “in exchange for the seeds of this delicious apple that I just ate.” He half expected that the crab would laugh in his face at this bold proposal.
But the crab just looked at him for a moment and said, “Sure, I agree to your proposal.” So the monkey went off with his rice, and the crab returned to her hole with her apple seeds.
For a long time the crab saw nothing of the monkey. He had gone to pay a visit on the sunny side of the mountain. But one morning he happened to pass by her hole, and he found her sitting under the shadow of a beautiful apple tree.
“Oh, certainly,” replied the crab, “but you must forgive me. I cannot get them for you myself. I am no tree-climber.”
“Do not apologize,” answered the monkey. “Now that I have your permission, I can easily get them myself.” And the crab agreed to let him go up, only saying, “You must throw me down half the fruit.”
But in a moment the monkey was swinging himself from branch to branch, eating all the best apples and filling his pockets with the rest. The poor crab looked up in disgust because the monkey threw down to her only the bad fruit.